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Author Topic: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?  (Read 8062 times)

StrictlyLiable

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Re: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2009, 10:54:59 AM »
Hello all,

Facts: Private NYC school (the one in between Fordham and Brooklyn). Already in debt from one year. Bs and B+ grades only (below median - 3.04 GPA, median = 3.16). Public interest/government future.

Should I drop out? I'm below median. I want a public interest/government career, but the economy is horrible right now. I have plenty of family connections, but my grades are kinda poo. Is there any way to get them up during the next two years?

Please, any advice would be great. I have no idea what to do right now. I mean, I'm really good at actual law ... I received an A on my appellate brief, and in my internship I keep getting compliments on my briefs and research. But still, grades are everything in this career.

Thanks in advance. I'm kinda bugging out about my future here.

Yes, drop out now, while you still can. The legal market is not just tough, its execruciating especially in NYC. Biglaw associates are getting laid off in droves. New hires are having their start dates delayed by 6 mos to 1 year. The top graduates from the top schools, who normally would be going Biglaw in the major markets, are being pushed into secondary markets, which has forced regional graduates to scramble for employment because the jobs that they could normally count are now uber comepetitive. Government jobs are now the most sought after in the legal world as they provide income stability, benefits, and shelter from the economic storm. So, the bulk of the applicants and hirees for these positions are mostly experienced attorneys who couldn't weather these times as a solo or in a small firm.

You only have one year in. You don't have that much debt. You are in the most comepetitive market in the US in a down economy. Graduates from your school just won't stack up against the big boys. Unless you want to find yourself doing 2 years of sporadic doc review after passing the bar, just cut your losses and find another career.

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Re: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2009, 02:02:32 PM »
How do you know, StrictlyLiable?

StrictlyLiable

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Re: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?
« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2009, 02:21:21 PM »
How do you know, StrictlyLiable?

Well, I have been in solo practice for 4 months now after not being able to find any job for almost 6 months after passing the bar.

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Re: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2009, 04:32:53 PM »
How do you know, StrictlyLiable?

Well, I have been in solo practice for 4 months now after not being able to find any job for almost 6 months after passing the bar.

I bet you're swimming in dollar bills.  Or is it not that lucrative?

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Re: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?
« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2009, 05:12:16 PM »
That corporate greed infects all levels of this profession?

StrictlyLiable

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Re: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?
« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2009, 06:10:28 PM »
How do you know, StrictlyLiable?

Well, I have been in solo practice for 4 months now after not being able to find any job for almost 6 months after passing the bar.

I bet you're swimming in dollar bills.  Or is it not that lucrative?

I am doing pretty well, but everyday is a constant hustle.

StrictlyLiable

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Re: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?
« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2009, 06:13:00 PM »
How do you know, StrictlyLiable?

Well, I have been in solo practice for 4 months now after not being able to find any job for almost 6 months after passing the bar.

I bet you're swimming in dollar bills.  Or is it not that lucrative?

Once you're a practicing lawyer, you will experience it yourself and then you can judge. When you are one of 300 applicants to a PD position that pays 40K per year and are told by the secretary that "honey, we have about 200 applications from seasoned attorneys with over 5 years experience," you will see what I mean.

He's telling people to give up on law and hoping for a change that will cause the vast majority of bar examinees to fail over the next four years, to cut down on competition. What does that tell you?

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Re: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?
« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2009, 07:01:14 PM »
I go to UChicago Law.  Does that change anything?

Thane Messinger

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Re: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2009, 08:46:20 PM »
Facts: Private NYC school (the one in between Fordham and Brooklyn). Already in debt from one year. Bs and B+ grades only (below median - 3.04 GPA, median = 3.16). Public interest/government future.

Should I drop out? I'm below median. I want a public interest/government career, but the economy is horrible right now. I have plenty of family connections, but my grades are kinda poo. Is there any way to get them up during the next two years?

Please, any advice would be great. I have no idea what to do right now. I mean, I'm really good at actual law ... I received an A on my appellate brief, and in my internship I keep getting compliments on my briefs and research. But still, grades are everything in this career.



Aloha, mzing12 -

Perhaps a different, even corny, question that has shockingly little to do with the economy might help (although the market does indeed present an immediacy to the question):  Do you love the law?  Do you even like it?

I'm serious, actually.  If the answer is no, then get out.  Don't waste any more time, or money, or emotion.  Figure out what it is that you truly like, and march like anything toward that goal.

If the answer is yes--and it sounds as if it is, at least in part--then the challenge is twofold:  how to get back on track, including your own sense of self-worth in your studies, and tactical considerations given the market.

Part of this relates, as you mention, to the importance of first-year grades.  Sadly, there's not much that second and third year grades will do in the context of many jobs.  It's unclear whether your statement about government/public interest is a preference or a resignation, as that makes a big difference in the advice.  If it's a preference, then the challenge is to find a government office somewhere--perhaps one that's received stimulus money--and secure even a part-time job.

Once you've answered the above question(s), and whatever the answer, consider what else it is that you like.  If it's an academic program, such as an MPA, it might not be a bad idea to branch out to another program--depending on any number of other factors.  If there is a genuine interest in a dual program, the delay will likely not be a harm.  Also, getting a part-time law job--nearly any part-time legal job--will be a benefit as well, in a number of ways.

I've posted my email in the "Success..." thread, if you'd like further help.

Best of luck,

Thane.

mallow55

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Re: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2009, 10:40:16 PM »
I have a similar situation, but in regards to biglaw firms. 

i have a 3.1'ish GPA at an HYSCC law school... i landed a summer job that has undoubtedly catapulted my legal research, writing, and analytical skills to a level far beyond what I ever acquired as a 1L. despite the amazing, incredibly educating experience, i have this awful gpa hanging over my head.  same question as the OP minus the drop-out consideration: am i totally screwed for biglaw firms in this economy, with this gpa???